DETECHIP®: Developing a Molecular Sensing Device

M.O. Okuom, A.E. Holmes
Doane College, US

Keywords: DETECHIP, Sensor, drug detection, colorimetric array, RGB Code


DETECHIP® is a detection system made of various sensors that has been shown to detect and discriminate between small molecules of interest, including various illicit drugs for and over-the-counter medications, explosives, pesticides and food spoilage metabolites. DETECHIP® employs an array of sensors from which an analyte is tested and based on changes in color, a code specific to the analyte is developed. Previously, detection was normalized to a single concentration of analyte based on visual changes in color. Now this detection assay can detect concentration differences in analytes via red, green, and blue color value changes and shifts in the UV-Vis spectra of the assay. To determine the concentrations differences, the exposed assays were scanned on a flatbed scanner and the images were analyzed for individual RGB values with a custom macro in ImageJ, an image analysis program. Increasing concentrations of the analyte resulted in greater differences in color values between control and analyte wells. DETECHIP® offers possibilities for a simple, sensitive, selective, and affordable alternative to costly immunoassays. Current efforts are focused on miniaturization of DETECHIP® to the micro and nanoscale.